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I am desperate - looking for some advice. I have left messages for the rescue I adopted my dog from, as well as the Bark Busters trainer who worked with him. Perhaps other bloodhound owners can advise. I have a 4-5 year old male bloodhound (neutered) that I adopted from a rescue in December 2012. Everything we know about him is from the vet or trial-and-error as the rescue didn't know much about where he was surrendered from besides he was neglected post-divorce. He is generally pretty good and doesn't cause much trouble as long as he gets walked or to the park regularly - he does have some dog aggression and I've never owned hounds before so I have a hard time gauging when he's giving aggressive "signals" - most dogs in our neighborhood go nuts trying to get at him when we pass which I have never encountered before. He must be doing something to them off that I am not noticing (there is no raised hackles, no stiff tail, nothing). My real issue is food aggression, and I don't mean his actual bowl. He could care less if you mess with his food when he's eating as we tried this with a fake hand before adopting him. He was 20 lbs. underweight, had 3 different parasites and a double ear infection when we took him to the vet after adopting him. He's always been CRAZY for food - when we are eating, we have to confine him to a separate room or he circles the table like a shark. He still howls like he's dying, we call it our dinner music. He is also growly when approached from behind when his food is being prepared - he gets crated when it's not a 1:1 situation when he's being fed for safety reasons as I have a 4.5 year old and a 10 month old baby. However, today I had an evening appt and was eating dinner at the kitchen table while my husband played with the baby. My dog was nearby and when the baby crawled towards me, he became aggressive and nipped his forehead. There was no puncture but we are all very upset. Our trainer indicated he has to work for EVERYTHING and generally we do a pretty good job of this as he has a tendency to be dominant anyway. He's typically great with the kids, and we monitor all interactions very closely. Our former dog was a German Shepherd mix we adopted her as a puppy, she was a guard dog and aggressive with everyone but us so I think I am done adopting dogs because I am obviously doing something wrong. We've also discovered he has serious food allergies and we have tried every expensive unique protein dog food formula, the only diet that has stopped his chronic itching and constant water drinking is the Dr. Pitcairn food allergy diet of brown rice/ground turkey + supplements. Obviously, he's not a good candidate for adoption because he's so large we have to cook a huge batch of food every 2-3 days. I guess I'm looking for agreement that I need to surrender him - I can't tolerate any aggression towards the kids. Isolating him for every meal/snack with 2 small kids in the house is an enormous feat. ALSO - he cleans up every night around the high chair, I let him out after dinner when everyone has departed from the table. Perhaps this is exacerbating the problem?
 

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I can't help with the aggression issues, but our bulldog has weird food allergies, turns out it's the protein sources since she does great on a vegan diet. Only took 6 years of her life with near constant ear infections before it was figured out. The vegan food is actually less expensive than the the fancy super high quality stuff we were feeding before, not sure if you have tried that. We had tried all the unique protein sources before realizing there are several vegan dog foods out there. Thankfully they do the trick. Maybe a hound rescue, other than the one you got him from, would be able to help with rehoming. Thankfully we don't have any children so our boxer's protection/aggression issues are mitigated by just going in the crate when we have people over. I wish you much luck in finding a solution.


HDAcres
 

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If he's not a good fit for your family with small children, just send him back. It's not worth the worry and work. Bloodhounds are big, strong, energetic, physically insensitive and pretty hard headed. They are good dogs, but they need a lot of exercise and training to be good pets. They are bred for a job.

Find a calmer breed, a gentler and more quiet one. Our English Setter is a doll. She's not so bright, but she's calm in the house, never been around children or cats, but she adores them. She just has a gentle, kind, sweet nature. She will run in the yard, but sleep in the house. She was three when I got her last fall, she's a retired show dog. Having bred ES for a couple of decades, she is exactly what I expected when I got one for a family pet. Love her. I didn't get her from rescue though, I got her from a good breeder.

Don't feel bad for sending back a dog that is a poor fit. I agree your children are the most important commitment and responsibility you have. Get a dog whose background you can know something about. You may want to learn more about training to help a dog fit in, but I don't think this bloodhound is a great idea. With the little ones there isn't much margin for problems and you are too busy to really work with him. There are homes where he'd work out fine.
 

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I foster dogs. Our agency would never adopt out a dog that we knew nothing about. A dog with ear infections is not adoptable until the infection is cleared up, ditto on fleas, and anything else. Some dogs come into rescue and are adoptable in a few weeks, once they are deemed ready to go. Others have major medical bills and one I had for a year and a half. I would not recommend a rescue that sells you a dog you have to vet.

That said, find a different (better) rescue and turn him in. He probably needs a different kind of home. I’ll add that I have had dogs with sensitive tummies and they all do fine on a raw/predator diet. However, a dog that needs to be fed raw is basically not adoptable, so few people will feed raw. They all have been able to tolerate Taste of the Wild. Try the yellow bag variety and see how he does.

A simple raw diet is much easier than the Pitcairn. When I put my cats on the Pitcairn cat diet they stopped killing songbirds. But, what does a cat weigh? For my dogs, I do a simple prey diet. Raw chicken (whole leg quarter, or drumstick/thigh depending on how big they are) and ox tail or neck bones when I can get them. Raw liver (liver should be the size of one front paw) twice a week as a treat and any other organ meat when I can find it. I don’t cook rice or oats and I don’t grind the meat. No supplements other than vitamin C.
 

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There's a big difference between trying to make it work with a dog who won't stop peeing in your house and a dog who is aggressive, particularly when there are kids around. It's just not worth the risk. I've been in your shoes..like exactly the same situation. I'm sure you feel like you're failing this dog, but you're worried about safety. Your kiddos have to come first in this situation.

I love http://www.dogsandbabieslearning.com/blog/. Madeline is an expert on kid/dog relationships and when I was in your situation she advised me to find the dog a good rescue where he could get the help he needed. If the dog actually hurts a member of your family, it is no longer a candidate for rehab and will most likely wind up being put down. When you think about the fact that you're working to keep the dog safe as well, it's an easier choice. Start hunting down rescue organizations that are willing to work with dogs with aggression issues (not always an easy find). Be honest about his issues, and eventually you'll find someone who can do right by him. Do what you have to do to make sure everyone stays safe in the meantime.
 

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Hi - yes, we gathered that the rescue was not taking adequate care of him as they had him for a month after they picked him up from the surrender shelter from the paperwork I have. Nor have they returned my call. I left a message for a breed specific rescue today, hopefully they can recommend a foster home or permanent course of action given his extensive allergy issues. I have NOT tried vegan without protein (thank you for suggestion) - that was something we had discussed with the internist after his emergency blockage surgery last summer when he ate a sock puppet. I had discussed a raw diet with the vet too and she thought it was a bad idea given how many times we've had to give him worming medication. However, she wasn't supportive of the Pitcairn diet either and that has worked better than anything else and he hasn't had an ear infection since we switched to that. Taste of the Wild was one brand we had NOT tried. We are back to training 101 and gating him whenever food is present until I can find a better home for him. He really is a good, loving boy most of the time and is particularly attached to me - we really do love him, but can't take any chances with the kids.
 

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Hi - yes, we gathered that the rescue was not taking adequate care of him as they had him for a month after they picked him up from the surrender shelter from the paperwork I have. Nor have they returned my call. I left a message for a breed specific rescue today, hopefully they can recommend a foster home or permanent course of action given his extensive allergy issues. I have NOT tried vegan without protein (thank you for suggestion) - that was something we had discussed with the internist after his emergency blockage surgery last summer when he ate a sock puppet. I had discussed a raw diet with the vet too and she thought it was a bad idea given how many times we've had to give him worming medication. However, she wasn't supportive of the Pitcairn diet either and that has worked better than anything else and he hasn't had an ear infection since we switched to that. Taste of the Wild was one brand we had NOT tried. We are back to training 101 and gating him whenever food is present until I can find a better home for him. He really is a good, loving boy most of the time and is particularly attached to me - we really do love him, but can't take any chances with the kids.
One sentence from your original post summed it all up for me on his behavior, and you can take it or leave it as far as it's worth, but I do all breed rescue and some behavior work, this just caught my immediate attention. You stated the incident with that nip at the forehead occurred when your baby was in the eating area and crawled toward you while you were eating. You also stated that he cleans up after meals around the high chair.

First and foremost, he HAS to go or he HAS to get fixed immediately, nipping at a baby is a never. But here is why he nipped at the baby, and why he is aggressive when you are preparing food, and as I said, take it or leave it, but this is my thought...

The dog is dominant and both of your children are under him in the pack. You and your husband are under him in the pack as well. He is food aggressive, has been allowed to taste people food (cleaning up under high chair and what ever you give him as treats). His own food is cooked, he knows his food comes out of pots and pans from the kitchen. So...when you are making dinner or whatever, your leader of the pack, aggressive male dog is going to control who gets it and when, and when a lower down member in the pack is crawling towards HIS meal, he is going to give a nip, which is what every single dog will do to a dog of lower stature in the pack when telling them they are out of line. He could have taken your baby's head off, but a nip was a simple warning that HEY, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT. Your dog previously growled while you were preparing food, that was his first warning and you did not control the situation at that time, so it has escalated into a nip. Your dog simply did what all dominant dogs in a pack do, he put the other "dog" in its place. He did not intend to hurt your child, he only intended to put him in his place in the pack.

Now, you have information you didn't have before, and you can do one of two things with it. One, you can get a behaviorist in there and have them help you and your husband become the dominant leaders of your little pack. That would require time and absolute obedience from both you and your hubby to do exactly what that trainer tells you to do to get control of your situation. The other thing is to immediately euthanize that dog before he increases his pressure on the baby to stop him from moving up in the pack. You don't have a choice really other than those options. I am a rescue, I WILL NOT take a dog like yours, unless I have a behavior specialist work with it and assure me it can be fixed. It is negligent to put a dog that is a known biter into any other home, even a childless home, because at some point in time that dog will encounter another child, wether it be on a walk or what have you, and there is too much risk involved.

About his diet, try Taste of the Wild. It is a good grain free food. It will get your dog out of the mind set that meal preparation is HIS time to eat, because you can just plop a bowl of kibble down while no one else is in the room and he can be fed and done by the time your evening meal comes around. Feed him in another room, in his crate. Leave him there while you prepare food for your family. Clean up the baby mess under the high chair before you allow the dog out, and I mean totally clean, mopped or wiped up, nothing left for your dog to scavenge. He will get the drift. While he is crated you can get him a bye bye bone, it is a bone with an empty center you can put all kinds of treats in and he has to figure out how to get the treats out. Or give him an antler to chew on while you are having your meal. Anything to stop the ruckus. Don't let that dog out until you are all the way done, and HE is quiet. You need to become his master, not his lackey.

Best of luck to you all.
 

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And by the way, I have to say this much, that is one great dog. He showed absolute constraint when dealing with your child, even if to you it may not seem like it at all. His first warning of a growl wasn't enough, his next move was the nip. It takes a huge amount of control on the dogs part to not just tear into a very small child that is threatening his meal. Your baby is nothing more to that dog than another dog. You can change that, but you have to do what I said above or it will fail, and your child will get hurt if the behavior isn't immediately stopped.
 

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This is very enlightening - we never made the connection before that he feels he owns the kitchen, how stupid are we. He's never allowed in it until we've departed the table and put away the dishes and he only gets to enter for clean up duty around the high chair depending on what was for dinner given his allergies (which we stopped doing immediately). I was tired that night and didn't think to check where he was because we usually dine as a family and was out of routine. He has always been gentle and docile with all children, particularly my own. When we adopted him, he was playing with the owner of the rescue's child who was the same age as mine. All the neighborhood kids love to help bathe him in the baby pool outside and he seems to enjoy all the attention, he's always been very good on walks and with strangers of any age. He's never exhibited any aggressive behaviors towards children until now, but obviously the growl was a warning as you indicated that we did not address properly (not sure how we should have dealt with it - need to find out what we are lacking). We are keeping him entirely separated from the kids, which is easy because we already have many baby gates installed and he hasn't liked being downstairs when we are upstairs, etc. His trainer is also a behaviorist, so we will see what he says as he's coming back out for an evaluation. We recently hired a pet sitter to stay with him during our recent vacation and she said he exhibited none of the negative behavior we encounter, and was shocked by what he had done to the baby. We are 100% the problem.
 

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This is very enlightening - we never made the connection before that he feels he owns the kitchen, how stupid are we. He's never allowed in it until we've departed the table and put away the dishes and he only gets to enter for clean up duty around the high chair depending on what was for dinner given his allergies (which we stopped doing immediately). I was tired that night and didn't think to check where he was because we usually dine as a family and was out of routine. He has always been gentle and docile with all children, particularly my own. When we adopted him, he was playing with the owner of the rescue's child who was the same age as mine. All the neighborhood kids love to help bathe him in the baby pool outside and he seems to enjoy all the attention, he's always been very good on walks and with strangers of any age. He's never exhibited any aggressive behaviors towards children until now, but obviously the growl was a warning as you indicated that we did not address properly (not sure how we should have dealt with it - need to find out what we are lacking). We are keeping him entirely separated from the kids, which is easy because we already have many baby gates installed and he hasn't liked being downstairs when we are upstairs, etc. His trainer is also a behaviorist, so we will see what he says as he's coming back out for an evaluation. We recently hired a pet sitter to stay with him during our recent vacation and she said he exhibited none of the negative behavior we encounter, and was shocked by what he had done to the baby. We are 100% the problem.
The moment of the growl you should have SHOUTED "NO" and then crated him. Period. And hubby has to do the same should he be there.

Listen, give him a chance, he sounds awesome. Let him interact as normal, but be ever vigilant for ANY posture or vocal change what-so-ever and instantly correct as I have said. It will be exactly what he needs.
 

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I would be careful with shouting at an already aggressive dog, its ok to quietly but firmly take him to the crate...

Def though a behaviorist would be a good consult, there is alot at stake here with the little kids around...(not just yours but the neighborhood's)...
 

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He isn't aggressive, he is dominant. He is doing what a dominant alpha dog does. Had he been aggressive he would not have done a growl first and then a nip, he would have flat out bitten the young child.

In a pack environment, the lead dog gives a loud yip or bark when a youngster is getting out of hand. One solid "NO" is exactly the same thing from a human pack leader. It isn't done threateningly or aggressively, but instantly.
 

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Punishing or scolding a dog for growling at this point is a bad idea. A growl is the warning before the bite. Have you ever heard of dogs who appeared to bite without warning? This is what will happen. Dogs need to be removed from the situation altogether and the underlying behavior issue needs to be addressed before correcting the growling.

"Even more dangerous are cases wherein punishment successfully inhibits growling yet does nothing to resolve, or even exacerbates, the underlying problem. The dog still feels uptight, but no longer gives warning. The dog still doesn’t like strangers and wants to growl, but dare not. This is akin to a smoke alarm with no batteries, or a time-bomb with no tick. The dog's temperament is still extremely unstable but on the surface, all appears to be well. When dogs are agitated, the very last thing to do is stop them from growling. I mean that literally. Of course, the dog should be trained to stop growling, but only once the underlying confidence problem has been resolved."

For further insight, check out http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/fearful-growling (note: I am NOT calling this situation fearful growling. That just happens to be the title of this article)

aoconner's response would be correct in some situations, but I do not believe it is correct in this one until SOLID obedience is put on this dog. You should be able to eat dinner with this dog in a downstay. The trainer is correct in having the dog work for everything, but that is because it sounds like the dog just chills and enjoys a life in the house of just doing whatever he wants. I understand this is what people would prefer, to be able to have a dog they can trust and relax with, but this dog needs his foundation training first. Solid obedience to make him feel secure and understand that someone is in control besides himself.
 

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Punishing or scolding a dog for growling at this point is a bad idea. A growl is the warning before the bite. Have you ever heard of dogs who appeared to bite without warning? This is what will happen. Dogs need to be removed from the situation altogether and the underlying behavior issue needs to be addressed before correcting the growling.

"Even more dangerous are cases wherein punishment successfully inhibits growling yet does nothing to resolve, or even exacerbates, the underlying problem. The dog still feels uptight, but no longer gives warning. The dog still doesn’t like strangers and wants to growl, but dare not. This is akin to a smoke alarm with no batteries, or a time-bomb with no tick. The dog's temperament is still extremely unstable but on the surface, all appears to be well. When dogs are agitated, the very last thing to do is stop them from growling. I mean that literally. Of course, the dog should be trained to stop growling, but only once the underlying confidence problem has been resolved."

For further insight, check out http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/fearful-growling
You are correct, however if you note, I included changing the behavior of the parents as well so this dog is not in charge. The dog has been with them for a while and is only now exhibiting this behavior, and based on the prior evaluation from a behaviorist, as well as what the OP stated in her post, the reasonable deduction is that the dog began associating human food and the kitchen as his domain and was guarding that domain. At this juncture correction is neither dangerous nor incorrect, if followed by what I said must happen which is a behaviorist and either a fix to the dog with that help, or euthanizing.
 

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I have NOT tried vegan without protein (thank you for suggestion)

I did not specify properly, there is protein, just no animal protein source like most dog foods.





HDAcres
 

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If you send me your snail mail I will send you my book:

ForeverHome: A Guide to ReHoming the Rescued Dog

Or, you can get it on Nook for $9.00 right away.
 

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Oh, this sounds so heartbreaking for the family and the dog - this is just not the right home for him. It sounds like there are so many good qualities about this dog, but not in this family - a family with a very young child, that has never owned a hound...and now food allergies. :(

Have you looked into bloodhound rescue? They might be able to help him find the right home.

I remember watching a PBS show about rescues -- they took 3 working breeds - one of them a bloodhound - and put them in breed savvy homes. The bloodhound had been re-homed 3 times before this. He went to a MA State Police Officer and became a truly brilliant tracking dog -- in only 6 weeks. This is not the average "pet"....and may not be happy in the average family home.

http://www.bloodhounds.com/tbn/bhrescue.html
http://www.southeastbloodhoundrescue.net/
http://rescueabloodhound.tripod.com/southwest.html
 

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As encouragement... as a breeder for many years, sometimes I got back adult dogs that either didn't work out in their home, or the people were no longer able to keep them. A couple of them "failed" at their first try of being rehomed - one English Setter was climbing on the counters and opening upper kitchen cupboards to pull things out! Now she was normal at our house... but she had dug a hole in the floor in the bathroom when kept in there so she wouldn't destroy the house. Of course I took her back and tried again. It was a long time ago, but her third home just loved her and she was totally fine there. She was a pretty high energy dog with a lot of drive and just too much dog to live in a small home with an older lady. There was no shame in her coming back, just not a good fit and she and her new owners were very happy together.

If your adopted bloodhound is not a good fit, another home could work out very well for him. Breed rescue is often a good choice, as they know what the dogs need to fit in and everyone to be happy.
 

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We had to surrender my son's last adopted dog. She was a delight with humans and did tolerate dogs outside of the home, but when she realized she WAS home she became aggressive towards our other dog. He would lower his ears in submission every time she walked by but it was not enough: she wanted him GONE and she started going for his throat. We had noticed the aggressive body language and so she was still on a leash or she might have succeeded.

She was such a sweet dog with humans and a perfect lady, but the problem was getting worse not better (she tried 3 times) and so we had to surrender her. It happens. I am 59 years old and I have always had dogs as pets and I have never failed with a dog before but it DOES happen: this dog was not suited for our home.
 
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